Frightening Drug-Resistant Infection Cropping Up Around The World

Henrietta Strickland
April 7, 2019

But new estimates published in November 2018 by the Washington University School of Medicine calls the death toll at a far higher figure; 162,000, while worldwide fatalities from drug-resistant infections are thought to be just under a million, according to reports.

In May past year, an elderly man died in Mount Sinai Hospital from the fungus after abdominal surgery.

The fungus has been shown to resist all popular antifungal medications, indicating that C. auris is a new and deadly addition to the growing list of drug-resistant infections long warned about by clinicians and health experts, according to Nytimes.com.

The elderly man, who was not named by the Times, was isolated in the intensive care unit, but died 90 days later. Tests revealed that the fungus was everywhere in the patient's room, and the situation so serious that the hospital needed special cleaning equipment and had to dismantle several ceilings and floor tiles to make it disappear from its surface. "Everything was positive - the walls, the bed, the doors, the curtains, the phones, the sink, the whiteboard, the poles, the pump", said Dr. Scott Lorin, the hospital's president. "The mattress, the bed rails, the canister holes, the window shades, the ceiling, everything in the room was positive".

In the United States, most of the confirmed cases have been out of NY as of February 2018, according to the CDC.

The man at Mount Sinai died after 90 days in the hospital, but C. auris did not.

"I found myself not wanting to touch [a patient]", noted Dr. Matthew McCarthy, of Weill Cornell Medical Center in NY, adding, "I didn't want to take [the disease] from the [patient] and bring it to someone else".

Dr. Lynn Sosa, an expert on epidemiology, said she sees Candida Auris as the most serious and significant threat among drug-resistant infections: "It's invincible and hard to diagnose", said Dr. Sosa, who says almost half of patients who die, may die within 90 days.

The CDC also reported that the median age for the clinical case-patients was 72, but that the ages of those infected ranged from 21 to 96 years.

Global experts in epidemiology and infectious disease are blunt about the current state of play regarding C. auris. Such over-prescribing has reduced the effectiveness of the drugs, allowing once curable bacterial infections to thrive once again.

"It's an enormous problem", professor of fungal epidemiology at Imperial College London Matthew Fisher told the Times.

Naturally, those most at risk of these "superbugs" are newborns and the elderly, who generally have weaker immune systems.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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